3rd Annual Conference on the American Revolution – March 21-23, 2014 – PAST TOUR

 Friday, March 21 (7pm) – Sunday, March 23 (Noon)

Colonial Williamsburg Woodlands Hotel
Williamsburg, Virginia

Conference Package: $225

American Revolution Conference

Edward G. Lengel, Head of Faculty: “Philadelphia is the Object in View”: George Washington at the Battle of Brandywine, 1777

James Kirby Martin: Forgotten Allies: The Oneida Indians’ Contribution to the American Revolution

Andrew O’Shaughnessy: First in War or First in Peace: Sir William Howe as Commander-in-Chief

Glenn Williams: Revenge and Reprisals: Irregular Warfare and the Sullivan-Clinton Campaign against the Iroquois

Todd Andrlik: Reporting the Revolutionary War: Colonial Newspapers as a Historical Record

Don Hagist: 60 Men at Yorktown: A British Light Infantry Company

David Mattern: Major General Benjamin Lincoln and the American Revolution

James L. Nelson: The Best General on Either Side: Benedict Arnold’s Naval Operations on Lake Champlain and the Chesapeake Bay

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Kill Jeff Davis: The Kilpatrick-Dahlgren Raid on Richmond in 1864 – April 10-12, 2014 – PAST TOUR

Thursday, April 10 (7:30pm) – Saturday, April 12 (5:00pm)

Glen Allen, Virginia

Tour Leader: Bruce Venter

Registration Fee: $295

Kill_Jeff_Davis_The_Kilpatrick_Dahlgren_Radi_on_Richmond_in_1864On paper, Union Brig. Gen. Judson Kilpatrick’s plan, approved directly by Lincoln, to release some 13,000 Federal prisoners, “burn the hateful city” of Richmond and capture or kill Confederate President Jefferson Davis, had all the earmarks of success. As one Michigan officer recalled, “The rationale of the raid was a hurried ride, timely arrival, great daring, a surprise, a sudden charge without a moment’s hesitation – success.” Even Confederate cavalry commander Maj. Gen. Wade Hampton felt “the enemy could have taken Richmond” except for some rebel luck. But in execution the Kilpatrick–Dahlgren Raid was a dismal failure; and a major embarrassment to Lincoln when controversial orders were found on the dead body of the expedition’s subordinate commander, the dashing and well-connected Col. Ulric Dahlgren.

On this Sesquicentennial year of the raid, our tour will consider all aspects of the raid’s plan, its execution, the routes taken by Kilpatrick and Dahlgren and the credibility of the infamous “Dahlgren Papers.” We will retrace the raid’s original routes and discuss the decisions, mistakes and happen-stances that affected both the intrepid Federal raiders and the dogged defenders of the Confederate capital. We will focus on the tactical movements of the troops and the decisions made by the commanders on both sides. During most of the tour we will follow the same routes the troopers did in 1864.

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Washington Turns the Tide: Trenton and Princeton – April 24-26, 2014 – PAST TOUR

 Thursday, April 24, 7:30pm – Saturday, April 26, 5pm

Trenton, New Jersey

Our Tour Leaders: William M. Welsch and Jay Jorgensen

Registration Fee: $295

Washington_turns_the_Tide_Trenton_and_Princeton“Tell General Sullivan to use the bayonet. I am resolved to take Trenton,” declared General George Washington on Christmas evening 1776. Washington’s stunning victory over the British army’s garrison of feared Hessians at Trenton fulfilled his order. It was here that a ragged, sleet-soaked Continental army crossed the ice-packed Delaware River to attack German hirelings under Colonel Johann Rall. A week later, the Continental Army stopped the British at Second Trenton, slipping around their flank to rout their rear guard at Princeton. Washington’s complete victories at Trenton and Princeton are considered by some historians to be a more significant turning point in the Revolutionary War than even Saratoga. The Patriot commander’s steadfast determination to lead his troops to victory stabilized sagging morale at a time when the American cause was at its nadir.

The first day of our tour will cover the battles of Trenton in-depth, beginning with a visit to Washington Crossing State Park in Pennsylvania, the site of the famous Christmas night crossing. The new Visitors Center offers a reproduction of Leutze’s famous painting of “Washington Crossing the Delaware” and the boat barn houses replicas of the Durham boats used in the crossing. We’ll cross the river (by bridge, not boat) to the New Jersey landing site and visit the Johnson Ferry House. Our next stop is the Visitors Center to see the nationally recognized Swan Historical Foundation Collection of nearly 900 Revolutionary War era items, including muskets, side arms, swords, clothing, maps, etc.

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Nat Turner’s Virginia Slave Revolt – June 6-8, 2014 – PAST TOUR

 Friday, June 6 (7:30pm) – Sunday, June 8 (4:00pm)

Suffolk, Virginia

Our Tour Leader: John V. Quarstein

Registration Fee: $175

Nat_Turners_Virginia_Slave_RevoltIn 1831 the bloodiest slave rebellion in the American South occurred in the commonwealth of Virginia’s Southampton County. Upwards of 60 white men, women and children were murdered in a few days. The revolt’s leader, Nat Turner survived a manhunt of several months, but 65 slaves suspected of being part of the Turner’s rebellion were executed. Another 200 blacks were killed by frenzied mobs and white militias. On November 11, 1831, after a six day trial on charges of “conspiring to rebel and making insurrection,” Turner was convicted, sentenced to death and hanged in Jerusalem (present-day Courtland), Virginia. Turner’s body was flayed, quartered and beheaded. White reaction was swift and decisive. In the aftermath of Turner’s revolt, Southern states enacted laws prohibiting the education of slaves and free blacks, curtailed the assembly of free blacks and required white clergymen to be present at African worship services.

Our tour leader, John Quarstein is well versed in 19th century Tidewater history. He has a special interest in Nat Turner’s Rebellion since becoming a consultant to Southampton County’s proposed museum dedicated to the legacy of Nat Turner.

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Rogers’ Rangers and the French and Indian War – June 11-14, 2014 – PAST TOUR

Rogers’ Rangers and the French and Indian War

Wednesday, June 11 (7:30 PM) through Saturday, June 14 (5 PM)

Our Tour Leaders: John Grenier and Bruce Venter

Registration Fee: $475

Rogers_Rangers_and_the_French_and_Indian_WarThe story of Major Robert Rogers and his Rangers is familiar to those who’ve read Kenneth Roberts’ fast-paced novel Northwest Passage or saw it brought to the silver screen in 1940, starring Spencer Tracy. The riveting tale of Fort William Henry’s siege and massacre after Monro’s surrender to Montcalm is integral to James Fenimore Cooper’s classic novel Last of the Mohicans which made for several movie adaptations. But the real history of Rogers, his Rangers and the forts built along the Lake George/Lake Champlain/Upper Hudson River water corridor is even more fascinating, when all the facts are told. The Adirondack area itself provides a truly majestic backdrop for one of the bloodiest periods of America’s history. It was a crucial time as two European superpowers struggled for supremacy over territory, trade and the natural riches of North America.

Robert Rogers is a truly enigmatic figure whose “Rules of Ranging” is still studied today by elite units of our armed forces. In addition, other characters emerge from the fighting around Lake George; men such as John Stark, Israel Putnam, Paul Revere and Thomas Gage who, like Rogers, all will play supporting roles in the American Revolution twenty years later.

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Forgotten Allies: Oneida Indians in the Revolutionary War – June 25-28, 2014 – PAST TOUR

 Wednesday, June 25 (7:30pm) – Saturday, June 28 (5pm)

Verona, New York

Registration Fee: $495

Forgotten_Allies_Onedia_Indians_in_the _Revolutionary_WarIn 1777, the Mohawk Valley was seen as a thoroughfare in British Lt. Gen. John Burgoyne’s strategy to capture Albany and divide the colonies. One prong of his campaign plan was led by Brig. Gen. Barry St. Leger. The Oneida Indian Nation played a major role in the defeat of St. Leger’s army, by turning back the invasion at Oriskany, thus helping to raise the siege of Fort Stanwix. Likewise, to understand the divided loyalties of the Mohawk Valley and the importance of its Native residents, it is essential to know about Sir William Johnson, the most powerful man in the region before the American Revolution. Many times, Johnson was at odds with the Rev. Samuel Kirkland who ministered to the Oneidas for ten years prior to the American Revolution. Joseph Brant, the brother of Sir William’s common law wife, Molly Brant also played a major role in the war by supporting the Crown. Sandwiched between the Mohawks to the east and three other nations to the west in the Iroquois Confederacy, the Oneidas have the unheralded distinction of supporting the Patriot cause.

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Burgoyne’s Campaign of 1777 and the Revolutionary War in New York – September 5-14, 2014 – PAST TOUR

Friday, September 5  – Sunday, September 14

In Partnership with Old Country Tours of the United Kingdom

Registration Fee: $1950 (Double Occupancy) or $2490 (Single Occupancy)

Burgoyne's_Campaign_of_1777_and_the_Revolutionary_War_in_New_YorkPerhaps the best chance Great Britain had to win the American Revolution was to split the colonies by controlling the Hudson River in New York. British General John Burgoyne’s plan for a three-pronged attack from Canada, New York City and the Lake Ontario looked good on paper, but multiple factors influenced the course of events, including politics, logistics, terrain, distances and uncontrollable allies. This tour will let you see firsthand what Burgoyne had to deal with in 1777.

This tour will be a complete telling of the 1777 campaign, including Sir Henry Clinton’s attack in the Hudson River Highlands, St. Leger’s invasion from Lake Ontario and the battle at Oriskany and Burgoyne’s own campaign from Canada. For the third part of the campaign, we will pick up Burgoyne’s army as it triumphantly captures Fort Ticonderoga and follow its march to the surrender at Saratoga, three and a half months later. When we are in certain geographic areas, we will include other historic sites associated with the Revolutionary War in New York as mentioned in the tour itinerary.

This tour is being offered in partnership with Old Country Tours of the United Kingdom. We know that some of our valued customers have been with us on tours dealing with some aspects of this all-inclusive campaign tour, but may not have been to all the sites covered by this tour. We will be happy to price parts of this tour for those interested in particular topics covered by the tour. Please call America’s History to discuss these arrangements. [Read more…]

Burgoyne’s Campaign of 1777: The Second Stage – September 19, 2014 – PAST TOUR

Burgoyne’s Campaign of 1777: The Second Stage

Friday, September 19, 2014 (8:30 AM to 5 PM)

Ticonderoga, New York

Our Tour Leaders: Michael Gabriel and Bruce Venter

Tour Fee: $125

Burgoyne's_Campaign_of_1777America’s History is proud to continue its partnership with Fort Ticonderoga by again offering a one-day tour of British Lt. Gen. John Burgoyne’s campaign of 1777. Led by Michael Gabriel and Bruce Venter, we will visit many sites important to the second phase of the campaign, including Skenesborough Harbor (present-day Whitehall), Fort Ann, the three gravesites of Jane McCrea, Fort Edward, and the Bennington battlefield on the Walloomsac River.

During the summer and fall of 1777, one of the great military campaigns of world history was fought in the dense forests and rolling fields of upstate New York. John “Gentleman Johnny” Burgoyne led a combined force of some 9,000 British Redcoats, German hirelings, Tories and Native Allies. This army descended from Canada, aiming to cut off the Mid-Atlantic colonies from New England.

Burgoyne’s invasion was part of a three-pronged strategic plan to break the back of the rebellion. His army marched directly south through a near-impenetrable wilderness, attempting to reach its final objective: Albany. But American fortunes changed decisively on the west bank of the Hudson River near Saratoga. The surrender of Burgoyne’s army in October 1777 was more important to the Patriot cause than any other single event during the American Revolution; this “turning point” arguably led to Yorktown four years later.

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Antietam: Sites Seldom Seen – September 25-27, 2014 – PAST TOUR

Thursday, September 25 (7:30pm) – Saturday, September 27 (5:00pm)

Frederick, Maryland

Our Tour Leader: Dr. Thomas G. Clemons

Registration Fee: $325

Antietam_Sites_Seldom_SeenWhile Gettysburg has been termed the Confederacy’s “High Water Mark,” the battle at Antietam Creek is acknowledged by many historians as the South’s real chance to win the war. This two-day tour will include all the major sites you have read about: the North Woods, Miller’s Cornfield, the West Woods, Dunker Church, the Sunken Road or “Bloody Lane” and Burnside’s Bridge. But you will also visit sites not normally seen by visitors to this pristine battlefield location. Many of these sites are off the beaten track and some are on private property. By touring this campaign with a historian who is known by his colleagues as “Mr. Antietam,” you will enjoy a truly unique battlefield experience. Here are some of the sites that are seldom seen: the Smoketown Road, Hooker’s approach to the northern end of the battlefield still maintains the historic integrity of an 1862-era road; the different sites of McClellan’s headquarters during the battle because the Pry House was not his only headquarters; Nicodemus Heights (private property) was the site of Jeb Stuart’s horse artillery; the Shepherdstown Ford and A. P. Hill’s approach to the Sharpsburg in the eleventh hour of the battle; and the Alfred Poffenberger/Locher Farm behind the West Woods. We’ll also visit several hospital sites and generals’ headquarters: Pry’s Mill, Hoffman Farm, Smoketown hospital site, Crystal Spring Farm and the Jacob Cost House. In addition, we’ll walk to several locations like the Roulette Farm, the Ninth Corps’ attack field and we’ll visit the 16th Connecticut Infantry monument. [Read more…]

Confederate High Tide in the West: Chickamauga and Chattanooga – October 8-11, 2014 – PAST TOUR

Wednesday, October 8 (7:30pm) – Saturday, October 11 (5:00pm)

Chattanooga, Tennessee

Our Tour Leader: A. Wilson Greene

Registration Fee: $495

Confederate_High_Tide_in_the_West_Chickamauga_and_ChattanoogaIf Gettysburg marked the Confederate high water mark in the east in July 1863, by September the smashing Southern victory at Chickamauga proved the cause was very much alive. But the celebration was short-lived once Ulysses S. Grant pushed Braxton Bragg’s army off Missionary Ridge and Lookout Mountain. One of the best preserved and oldest Civil War core battlefields in the country is Chickamauga with an amazing array of artillery. Our tour will show you two great battlefields: Chickamauga and Chattanooga as well as a host of lesser known sites associated with these campaigns. There will be plenty of time to discuss the lost opportunities and critical decisions made by a unique cast of characters on both sides.

On the first day of our tour we will follow Maj. Gen. William S. Rosecrans’ Army of the Cumberland as it crosses the Tennessee River at Shellmound, Bridgeport, and Battle Creek, Tennessee. We’ll ascend Sand Mountain and Lookout Mountain. We will stop at McClemore’s Cove to study how Confederate General Braxton Bragg missed an opportunity to beat the Federals. Then we’ll proceed to Bragg’s headquarters in Lafayette, Georgia to review his operational plans for the campaign. We will conclude the day with several stops on the Chickamauga battlefield highlighting the September 18-19 actions.

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